Walt Disney and Gothic Dancer proudly present:

Karin as Ariel or Kishimoto's The Little Mermaid

Prince Sasuke smiled as the rough wind blew against his face. He was out at sea in his favorite ship, and the sea was powerful on that overcast day. He grinned. "It's a perfect day to be out at sea!" he declared as he looked back towards the deck. "Don't you think so, Orochimaru?"

A pale, sickly-looking man just waved disgustedly. "Yeah, it's awesome." The next moment, he was hunched over the side of the ship, releasing his lunch into the ocean.

Sasuke just shrugged as he stroked Manda, his pet snake around his shoulders.

"This kind of day makes King Kimimaro happy," a man named Dosu laughed eerily.

Sasuke looked up. "King Kimimaro?"

"He rules the mer-people, Sasuke," a woman named Anko laughed.

Sasuke shook his head. "Mer-people? No way," he sighed.

The woman frowned. "By the way, Sasuke, have you ever thought about getting yourself a girl?"

"Are you kidding? I'll never find the right girl for me."

Down, far below the water's depths, a concert was taking place. What Sasuke didn't know was that the mer-people actually existed. In fact, there was a whole kingdom full of them, and the merman named Kimimaro really did rule. He grinned as he entered the stadium and took his seat. He watched as a little crab swam over to him with a nervous look on his face.

"I'm really looking forward to this, Suigetsu," the king told him. "It's been a while since those lovely ladies of yours performed." He grinned and sat back against his chair. "And I can't wait to see my daughter Karin join them."

Suigetsu nodded. "Oh, don't worry!" he laughed. "Karin has such a lovely voice that I'm SURE she'll impress EVERYONE here!" He turned and made his way towards his podium as the conductor. He growled as he placed his musical sheets on the stands. "Well, I'd know that for sure if she'd ever show up to rehearsal once in a while."

Soon, the music began, and each of the girls began singing. "We are the fairest maids in all the seas!" they sang. "We love King Kimimaro, and it's him we want to please. Each of us!"







"And then there is the most recent addition to our little crew! She's here to put on a performance just for you! Listen to her sing!" The girls motioned towards a large shell, large enough to have a person inside. It slowly began to open. "Her name is Kari...!"

But the shell was empty.

Suigetsu gasped and looked up at the angry king. Kimimaro knit his brows together and screamed, "KARIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!"

A young redhead looked ahead in the ocean waters and saw a sunken ship. She gasped happily. "Juugo! Look!" She pointed at the ship, and a little fish swam up behind her. He tilted his head.

"Um...I guess it's okay."

"Let's go take a look!"

Juugo gasped. "Karin, no!" He followed his friend to the side of the ship, where one of the windows had been broken in. "Alright, we've taken a look! Can we go now?"

Karin raised an eyebrow. "I want to take a look inside," she insisted. "If you don't want to come, you can be the lookout. Keep an eye out for Kisame." The girl swam inside the ship.

Juugo looked through the broken window. "Kisame?"

"The shark!"

Juugo's face dropped. "WHAT?!" Without another thought, he swam inside the sunken ship and didn't stop until he met with Karin. The girl just smirked.

When the two of them reached the upper level of the ship, Karin gasped. "Oh, my gosh!" she cried, swimming towards a shiny object in the center of the room. "Look, Juugo! Isn't it awesome? I wonder what it is..." She stuffed it into the small bag at her side and swam to a corner of the ship. "Huh...I wonder what this is." She held up an s-shaped brown thing.

Suddenly, the inside of the ship darkened. Juugo looked up and met with the one face he did NOT want to see. "IT'S KISAME!!" he screamed, catching Karin off-guard. The girl threw the object in her bag, grabbed Juugo, and started swimming for her life. She swam towards the opposite end of the ship, but Kisame was faster. He swam in front of them and was just about to chomp down on Juugo when Karin suddenly poked him with the shiny object from her bag. The shark reacted violently and chased the two of them outside the ship, where he got caught on a circular hook. Karin and Juugo swam through it with ease and breathed a sigh of relief as they headed for the surface.

Up on a tiny island, a single bird lazed about in his little nest, singing to himself. He was half-asleep.

"Hey, Kabuto!" Karin cried when she reached the surface.

"Whoa!" Kabuto realized, snapping back to reality. He picked up his telescope and peered out the wrong end, thinking that Karin was far away. "HEY, KARIN!!" he shouted. "HOW ARE YOU DOING?!" He lowered the telescope to see the mermaid right before him. "Wow, you sure have learned to swim fast!"

"Kabuto, look at this!" Karin insisted, pulling the shiny object from her bag. "Look! Can you tell me what it is?"

The bird took the object from the mermaid and nodded. "It's...a dinglehopper."

"Wow," Karin gasped, "it's a dinglehopper..."

"Yeah! Humans use it to comb their hair!"

"And this?!" She held up the brown object. "What is this?"

The bird's eyes widened. "It's...a snarfblat. Hee, humans use it to make music! Back in the day, they used to sit around and stare at each other...It was very boring. Therefore, they invented the snarfblat to make music to keep themselves entertained!"

"Music...entertainment...?" Karin gasp. "Oh...my...ARG, THE CONCERT WAS TODAY!!"

Juugo gasped. "TODAY?!"

Karin grabbed the objects from her friend. "I'm sorry, Kabuto! I have to go! I'll see you later!"

"Hee, no problem!"

Back underwater, in the darkest depths, a single mer-person glared into a cauldron set in the middle of her lair. "Hmm," she sighed, "yes, go on home. Quickly now, you don't want to make your father angry." She crossed her arms and looked at two eels swimming around her. "You know, I was one of the loveliest ladies of the sea...until that idiot Kimimaro banished me. Now look at me! I'm practically dying here!" She suddenly grinned. "Naruto, Lee, I want you two to keep an eye on Kimimaro's precious little girl. She just might be the key to his undoing."

Karin was in for the scolding of her life.

"You completely ruined the production!" Kimimaro shouted. "Suigetsu spent all that time putting the music together for you, and you went and blew it all off! How dare you?! How do you explain yourself?"

Karin was silent.

Juugo shuffled in his spot. "Well, there was this sunken ship, and we were swimming...until Kisame attacked us! And then there was this seagull...!"

Kimimaro perked up. "A seagull?"

Juugo slapped his hands over his mouth. "Oops..."

"You went up to the surface, didn't you?" the king hissed at his daughter. "Karin, how many times do I have to tell you? You could have been seen by one of those barbarians...one of those HUMANS!"

"They're not barbarians!" Karin cried.

"Don't talk back to me! Karin, you are NEVER permitted to go back up to the surface. IS THAT CLEAR?!"

Karin's face twisted in anger, and the redhead swam off, slapping her tail violently. Juugo bowed at the king and followed.

Kimimaro groaned and set his face in the palm of his hand. "Maybe that was too harsh," he murmured. "Really though, Suigetsu, I'm just concerned for her safety."

The little crab shook his head. "You know what that girl needs? Constant supervision! Someone to keep an eye on her! She needs to be monitored to make sure she doesn't get into anymore trouble."

Kimimaro grinned. "And you're just the one to do it!"

Suigetsu's face fell. "WHAT?!"

"You heard me! You've got the job!"

What could he do? Suigetsu bowed before his king and swam out of the palace. He shook his head as he followed the head of red hair. "Geez, this was NOT what I had in mind," he sighed to himself but stopped when he saw Karin move a large rock. Underneath was a dark passageway. He narrowed his eyes. "What is that girl up to now?" Silently, he made his way under the rock and popped up in a large grotto. His eyes grew wide. The place was full of artifacts and items from the surface world.

Karin slumped against a rock as she placed her latest discoveries among her collection. She looked as though she was on the verge of tears.

"Karin, are you okay?" Juugo asked.

The girl shook her head. "I'm sorry, Juugo. I just don't understand it." She looked up. "How could people who make such amazing things be bad? I mean, just look at all this stuff! Isn't it cool? Ah, you'd think I had everything." She suddenly frowned. "But you're wrong. I want...more. I want...to be part of that world."

Suddenly, a section of the grotto crashed, and Suigetsu emerged from the wreckage. Karin gasped. "Sui-chan!" She swam over to him. "How did you get in here?!"

The little crab growled. "What is all THIS?!" he demanded. "When your father finds out..."

"NO!!" Karin cried. "Don't tell him!"

No sooner had she shouted, Karin could hear an explosion coming from the surface. She looked up and saw bright lights flashing above the waters. Without a word, she let go of Suigetsu and swam upwards, not listening to her friends as they ordered her to come back.

Karin emerged at the surface and saw that a giant ship was sending off fireworks. Quickly, she swam over to the side of the boat and climbed to an open spot where she could see the deck. Humans were dancing and singing, having what looked like a celebration. Karin gasped when she set her eyes on Sasuke. "Wow..." she said to herself. "He looks so...handsome."


"Shut up, Kabuto! I'm watching the humans!"

Suddenly, Manda looked up from playing and glanced at the side of the boat. He and Karin made eye contact, and the mermaid immediately moved as not to be seen again. Manda hissed at the empty space and slithered over to to his master.

"May I have everyone's attention please?" Orochimaru asked as he climbed on top of a crate. "I have something for Prince Sasuke on his birthday!" He pulled a large sheet away to reveal a giant statue of the prince. Sasuke twitched.

"Uh..." he stuttered, "...um...wow, Orochimaru...you...shouldn't have."

"I know, right?" the pale man laughed. "No need to thank me!"

"We've got trouble!" Anko announced from the crow's nest. "There's a storm coming!" She pointed out into the distance, and everyone saw the lightning coming towards the ship. It immediately began to rain, and with the water came the wind. The ship was soon out of control. Everyone panicked, especially when lightning struck the crow's nest. Anko jumped down unharmed, but the ship was on fire.

"ABANDON SHIP!!" Sasuke screamed as the lifeboats lowered into the water. He was just about to get into one himself when he heard a loud hiss come from the ship. He looked up into the flames. "Manda!" He ran to the center of the boat. "Come down, Manda! I'll catch you!" The snake quickly propelled itself down into its master's arms. Sasuke ran to the side of the boat and saw the gunpowder in the locker quickly catching on fire. He threw Manda into the lifeboat and went to jump but was too late. The ship exploded.

Karin gasped and dove into the water, searching for the prince. Eventually, she caught sight of a head of black hair falling deeper into the water. She grabbed the man and brought him to the surface so he could get some air. She swam as fast as she could to the closest shore.

Karin stayed with Sasuke until morning, watching him. She bit her lip and held the tears back as Kabuto examined him. "He's not dead," the girl whispered, "is he?"

Kabuto shook his head as he poked at the prince's foot. "I can't hear a heartbeat."

Karin gasped and smiled. "No, look! He's breathing!" She brushed the hair away from his face. "Wow...he's so handsome." Quietly, she began singing, "What would I give to live where you are? What would I pay to stay here beside you? What would I give to see you smiling at me? Where would we walk? Where would we run if we could stay all day in the sun? Just you and me...and I could be...part of your world..."


Karin looked up and jumped into the water just as Orochimaru spotted Sasuke. The young prince slowly opened his eyes but couldn't hear his friend talking to him. "Wow," he whispered, "there was a girl..."

Orochimaru stopped. "What?"

"There was a girl, and she had the most beautiful voice. She saved me."

Orochimaru laughed. "I think you swallowed too much sea water, Sasuke."

Karin watched the pale man lift the prince and sling him around his shoulders. Carefully, the two of them walked along the shore, back to the palace. The redhead climbed onto a nearby rock and kept her eyes on Sasuke until he was out of sight.

"Just wait and see," she told herself. "Someday I'll be...part of that world!"

Suigetsu bit hid lip. This was NOT good.

Karin was totally out of it for the next few days. She spent most of her time lazing around and murmuring to herself, not bothering to deal with the outside world. The other mermaids noticed this and tried to snap her out of it but to no avail.

"Wow," Ino realized, "she's got it real bad."

"No kidding," Temari agreed.

The girls watched Karin play with her hair in the mirror and place underwater flowers in her red locks. She giggled at her reflection and took her glasses off, batting her eyelashes.

Tenten twitched. "That's almost sickening."

Moegi nodded. "I've never seen someone fall so hard before."

Karin went to leave but bumped into Kimimaro. "Oh!" she gasped happily. "Hee, good morning, Papa Kimi-chan." She sang a little tune to herself and swam off.

Kimimaro stared at the mermaids. "Um...what's wrong with my daughter?"

Matsuri's eyes widened. "Isn't it obvious?"

Hinata sighed. "Karin's in love..."

Kimimaro tilted his head. "Karin's in love?"

Karin picked an underwater flower from its stem and began plucking the pedals off it. "He loves me...he loves me not...he loves me...he loves me not..." She gasped joyfully and plucked the last one. "HE LOVES ME!!" She giggled hysterically and threw her head back. "I knew it!"

Suigetsu groaned. "Karin, you have got to stop thinking about that human. If your father finds out..."

"He won't find out!" the mermaid insisted.

Her friend shook his head. "That won't do!" He swam up towards the girl and set himself in her lap. "Listen to me, Karin. You've got to get your head out of the clouds and back in the water where it belongs! You've got to stay here, under the sea!" He grinned when several schools of fish began swimming around them. "See how happy all the fish are down here? Let me tell you, they are NOT happy up on the surface." He swam upwards to join the others. It gave Juugo just enough time to make an escape with Karin. "You don't want to be up on the land. It's terrible! We've got everything we need right here, under the sea!"

Suigetsu and the other fish looked back towards the rock where Karin had been, but the mermaid was gone.

"You called for me, Your Majesty?"

Kimimaro looked up. "Yes, I did, Suigetsu." He grinned. "Have you noticed that Karin's been acting strange lately?"

Suigetsu's eyes popped. "Strange?! No!" He shook nervously. "Not at all!"

The king frowned. "Sui, I think you're keeping something from me."

The little crab couldn't take it anymore. "I TRIED TO STOP HER!!" he screamed. "KARIN IS IN LOVE!! SHE'S IN LOVE...WITH A HUMAN!!"

Kimimaro's jaw dropped.


"What did you want to show me, Juugo?" Karin asked as she and her friend swam towards her secret grotto. Juugo moved the large stone blocking the entrance and smirked.

"You'll see."

The two of them swam inside, and in the middle of the grotto was the statue of Sasuke from the ship. Karin gasped, her eyes growing wide in astonishment. She suddenly cried out in pure joy and rushed over to the statue. "Oh, Juugo, it's amazing!" she cheered. "I love it!" She gave the statue a hug and looked at the carved face. "He's so handsome...Hee, what was that, Sasuke? You want me to...run away with you? Oh, but this is so...sudden." She giggled and wrapped her arms around the statue's neck, going in to give the stone lips a kiss.

"KARIN!!" Kimimaro shouted, breaking the happy moment. The mermaid looked up and gasped at her father. "I consider myself reasonable..."

"Father, I can explain!"

"Is it true that you saved a human from drowning?!"

"He would have died!"

"One less human to worry about!"


Kimimaro gasped and backed away from his daughter. "So it's true..." he whispered. "I can't believe this. He's a human! You're a mermaid!"

"I don't care!"

"KARIN, I AM GOING TO GET TO YOU SOMEHOW!! And if this is the only way..." Bones started spurting from the king's body, sharp as daggers. "...so be it." He swung wildly at the collection within the grotto, completely destroying Karin's artifacts. He lifted his arm, and a trident appeared in his hands. Without a second though, he pointed it at the statue.


The statue exploded.

Karin sank to the grotto's floor and sobbed wildly, her salty tears mixing with the salty water. She stayed there and didn't even bother to look up as her father left. Juugo tapped on the mermaid's arm, but she quickly slapped him away. As he swam out of the grotto, he saw Suigetsu with a guilty look on his face. Without a word, the two of them swam off to give Karin some alone time.

Karin was crying so hard that she didn't see the two shadows circling her. "What a poor, sweet little mermaid," an eel hissed.

"If only there was something we could do..." a second one sighed.

"Wait..." the first eel said, coming up to Karin's face, "there may be someone who can help, dattebayo."

"That's right," the second one realized. "She could help make all your dreams come true."

Karin looked up. "Who are you talking about? And who are you?"

"I'm Naruto."

"I'm Lee."

"And the two of us can take you to Sakura."

Without much of a choice, Karin nodded and followed the two eels into the darkest depths of the ocean. Suigetsu and Juugo watched the mermaid swim out of her grotto and towards the darkness; they tried stopping her.

"Where are you going?" Suigetsu asked, catching up with the mermaid.

Karin flipped her hair back. "I'm going to see Sakura."


"Why don't you go tell my father? You're good at that."

Eventually, the entire group, Suigetsu and Juugo included, found themselves in front of a dark cave. When Karin swam inside, she saw several sickly-looking creatures sprouting from the floor, crying out to her. She did her best to ignore them and followed the eels into the main room, where a large cauldron sat in the center.

"Come in," a feminine voice called out. Karin swam to the cauldron and saw a mermaid with half the body of an octopus appear before her. "Oh, what a pretty face you have," she sighed. "Now then, sweetness, let's cut right to the chase. I know that you're in love with a human, and, darling, I don't blame you. He is one heck of a handsome catch, isn't he?" She giggled. "I can help you get him if you want." She positioned herself right in front of Karin's face. "The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself."

Karin gasped. "Can you...do that?"

Sakura's eyes widened. "Of course I can! Listen, you may have heard a few rumors about me, but, trust me, I've reformed myself! Nowadays, I use my magic to help those in need. Sure, I've had a few complaints. I mean, not everyone can pay the price for my help. Still, to those who can pay, well, I've been a saint to those poor, unfortunate souls."

Karin watched as the other girl swam about her lair, picking out random objects and throwing them into the cauldron. "If I become a human," the redhead began, "I'll never be with my father or the other girls ever again."

Sakrua looked up. "Yeah, I guess that's true." She paused. "Still, this is a once-in-a-lifetime offer. I'll make a potion that'll turn you into a human for three days, got that? If you can get the man to kiss you before the sun sets on the third day, you'll remain a human for the rest of your life. However, if he doesn't kiss you, you'll turn back into a mermaid...and belong to me." The sea witch grinned. "Oh!" she realized. "And there's one more thing. We need to talk about payment."

"But I don't have anything!"

"I'm not talking much, really. All I want from you is...your voice."

Karin held her hands up to her throat. "My voice?"

"Yup, that's right. No more talking, no more singing, nothing. Besides, you don't need a voice. You've got a pretty face, don't you? Plus, you should NEVER underestimate the power of body language. Hey, I hear that the men up there don't like a lot of talking anyway."

A magical contract appeared before Karin along with a pen. She took both in her hands and looked at Suigetsu and Juugo, who were urging her not to do it. Regardless, she quickly scribbled her name on the sheet, and it disappeared into nothing.

Sakura grinned. "Sing."

Karin opened her mouth and let out a few beautiful notes of song. Two ghost-like hands appeared from Sakura's cauldron and reached down the redhead's throat, grabbing a small ball of light. Karin grabbed her throat, and a void-like feeling begin welling up. Sakura laughed as the hands placed the light within a shell hanging from her neck.

Suddenly, the cauldron flashed and bubbled, catching Karin within it grasp. The magic went to work. Her tail split in two, and feet replaced her fins. Once it was over, the bubble disappeared, and Karin gasped for air. Suigetsu and Juugo quickly swam to their friend and guided her up towards the surface. There, Karin took her first breath of air.

In the morning, Karin woke to find herself sitting in a nearby lagoon, Suigetsu and Juugo nearby. She rubbed her head, fixed her glasses, and went to move her tail but stopped. Slowly, she picked one of her legs out of the water and wiggled her toes. A giant smile appeared on her face, and she splashed about in pure joy.

"This is just great..." Suigetsu mumbled. "King Kimimaro is going to kill me when he finds out about this!"

"Hey, Karin!"

Everyone looked up and saw Kabuto flying towards them. He landed on one of Karin's legs and looked at the girl, staring into her eyes. "You're...different," he murmured. "What is it? No, let me guess. Uh...did you get new glasses?" Karin shook her head. "Have you been using the dinglehopper?" The redhead responded the same way.

"YOU IDIOT!!" Suigetsu screamed, scaring the bird away from the girl's leg. "SHE'S GOT LEGS!! She traded her voice to the sea witch Sakura and got herself a pair of legs!" He growled violently. "And she's got to get the prince to kiss her in three days! Oh, wait! Maybe I can still tell the king! Yes, I have to go tell him so we can fix this mess!"

Karin suddenly grabbed her friend and shook her head, frightened. She didn't want to go back underwater. For the first time in her life, she had the chance to live among humans! Her eyes widened sadly, and tears threatened to fall.

Suigetsu sighed. "But if I did that, then you'd be miserable."

Karin nodded and kissed her friend as she attempted to stand. Kabuto quickly stopped her. "No, wait!" he insisted. "We've got to get you into some clothes!"

On the other side of the beach, Sasuke was playing with Manda, tossing a ball for the snake to catch. He called for his pet to bring the toy back, but the snake didn't move. It stuck out its tongue and sniffed the air. Immediately, it began slithering across the shore towards the lagoon.

"Hey, Manda!" Sasuke called. "Wait! Where are you going?"

Manda eventually came upon where Karin was. The girl was dressed in the dirty remains of a ship's sail, and she quickly scampered on top of a nearby rock when she saw the animal.

Sasuke ran to the lagoon and caught up with Manda, but when he set his eyes on Karin, all logical thought left him. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, and his dark eyes were fixed on her shiny red locks and innocent face. "Do I...know you?" he asked quietly. Karin nodded, smiling happily. Sasuke's face brightened. "I knew it!" he realized. "You're the girl who rescued me from the shipwreck! I've been looking all over for you! Please, tell me your name!"

Karin went to speak, but no sound came out. She grabbed her throat and looked at the prince pleadingly. The young man's cheerful expression faded. "You can't speak?" Karin shook her head, and Sasuke sighed. "Oh, then you can't be the girl I thought you were..."

Suddenly, Karin flailed her arms about and tried to mimic the swim motion but lost her balance on the rock. Sasuke caught her and came face-to-face the the girl. Even if he thought she wasn't the girl who had saved him, she was still beautiful, and he felt sorry for her.

"I'll bring you back to my castle and get you cleaned up," he offered, smiling. He helped her stand, and the two of them walked towards the palace, Suigetsu and Juugo following closely behind.

The small crab almost had a heart attack when he came upon the kitchen. The pots and pans were full of fish, lobster, clams, oysters, and other crabs. What if he had been FRIENDS with some of those animals?!

The chef, a young man named Sai, hummed to himself as he stirred a pot full of fish brother. "Little fishies, little fishies," he sang, "I love little fishies! Hee, they're so tasty when I prepare them. I fry them, grill them, steam them, bake them, and serve the little fishies with a hint of lemon and butter." He smiled as he placed a pile of stuffed crabs in the pot. Suigetsu, who had fallen out of the nearby window in disgust, landed on a table with a loud thump. Sai turned towards the table and glanced at the crab. "I missed one? Oh well! I'll just stuff him up and throw him in the pot with the rest of them. He won't care. He's dead!" He picked Suigetsu up and turned him over so he was on his back. Sai suddenly grinned evilly. "Nice," he laughed to himself.

Suigetsu gasped. Not only was he about to be cooked, but he was being CHECKED OUT by a perverted HUMAN! It was all way too humiliating.

The crab jumped from Sai's grasp and scattered about the kitchen, trying to get away. Sai suddenly pulled a giant, razor-sharp knife out of his back pocket and chased the crap, making a mess in the kitchen.

In the dining hall, Orochimaru stood by Sasuke as they waited for their guest to arrive. "So she washed up on shore from a shipwreck?" he asked the prince. "The poor thing, it's a good thing you found her!" He paused. "By the way, Sasuke, I have this feeling like...like your fantasy maiden doesn't exist. Plus, this girl is plenty beautiful. She obviously likes you, too."

"I don't care, Orochimaru," the prince hissed. "I know that girl is real. She's out there. I'm going to find her, and I'm going to marry her."

Suddenly, the doors to the hall opened, and Karin walked inside, wearing a formal pink dress. Sasuke's previous thoughts left him, and he gaped at the girl. She really was beautiful, and he started to think that maybe she'd be just as good as his fantasy girl. "You look," he whispered, "beautiful..."

Karin smiled and sat down at the table. She looked at her nearby napkin and grinned. There was the dinglehopper! She grabbed it and began combing it through her hair, oblivious to the confused looks she was getting from Sasuke.

"Orochimaru," the prince murmured, "why is she combing her hair with a fork?"

The pale man was about to light his pipe and answer when Karin looked up at him with a sparkle in her eyes. She pointed at the pipe. "You like it?" the man asked. Karin nodded and grabbed it from him. Finally, she could make music with the snarfblat! She blew into it, and smoke clouded over Orochimaru's face. The man coughed wildly while Sasuke just laughed.

"Why, Sasuke!" Anko cheered as she made her way towards the kitchen. "That's the first time you've laughed in weeks!" The woman smiled but instantly cringed when she heard the racket coming from the kitchen. "Um," she began, "I'll be right back." She ran inside the kitchen and stared at the chef. "SAI!!" she screamed.

The man looked up from under the table. "Oh, Anko!" he looked around his work space to see it completely destroyed and Suigetsu nowhere in sight. He stared at the woman and smiled. "This is sort of awkward, isn't it?" he asked.

The woman just snorted and took the finished meals into the dining room, where she set them down before the prince and his guests.

"So I was thinking that you might like a tour of my kingdom tomorrow," Sasuke began as he lifted the top off his plate to reveal a delicious-looking stuffed crab. He grinned at the girl. "Would you like to come?"

Karin looked at the prince cheerfully and nodded.

Orochimaru smiled. "That's a great idea," he agreed, lifting the top off his plate. He went on talking, but Karin noticed something strange. Suigetsu was on the plate! She quickly took the top off hers and motioned for the crab to come to her. Suigetsu quickly scampered across the table while no one was looking and dove under the lettuce. "Now then!" Orochimaru finished. "Let's eat before this crab walks off my plate!"

He stabbed his food, but the crab was gone.

That night, Karin got ready for bed, brushing her hair out and smiling to herself. She looked out the window and heard a flute play. Upon further inspection, she realized that Sasuke was making the music. She grinned and waved. The prince noticed her and waved back.

Slightly embarrassed, Karin quickly walked back inside the room and flopped into bed. Suigetsu rambled on about how Sasuke needed to kiss Karin that day, seeing as it was the second day. He stopped though when he realized that the girl was asleep.

He chuckled softly to himself. "You really are hopeless, aren't you?"

The next day, Sasuke and Karin went into town and explored all the streets, shops, and special spots. The prince took his lovely girl dancing in the town square and then hopped in a horse-drawn carriage for a trip across the kingdom. Karin was loving every moment with the handsome prince, and she was having the time of her life exploring the world above the water.

When night fell, Sasuke rented a rowboat and took Karin out to a lake. The weather was perfect on that cool evening, and the fireflies were about, casting a romantic glow on the water.

Suigetsu watched from behind the nearby plants and frowned. Juugo appeared at the surface of the water. "Did he kiss her yet?" the fish asked. The crab shook his head.

"We have to do something," he murmured. "Oh, I have an idea! We have to create a romantic mood..."

"Romantic mood?" Kabuto asked, appearing out of nowhere. "No problem! Leave it to me!" The bird flew onto a nearby tree branch and attempted to sing. Suigetsu threw a rock at the bird; his singing was terrible.

"We need a professional," he sighed, picking a long blade of grass from the water. He called up all the nearby animals and set them to their appropriate places. Soon enough, a romantic song began to play. Suigetsu grinned and began singing. "There you see her...She's beautiful, no? She doesn't have much to say, but there's something about her, isn't there? She's special."

Sasuke wasn't sure why he was suddenly feeling so overwhelmed with feelings, but the redhead across him just looked so beautiful. He couldn't take it! "You know," he began, "I feel bad. I don't even know your name. Um...let me guess. Is it...Tayuya?" Karin shook her head disgustedly. "Is it Kin? What about Konan?"

"Psst!" Suigetsu whispered into the prince's ear. "Her name is Karin."

Sasuke looked up. "Karin?" The redhead nodded happily. "Oh, it's Karin!" The young man smiled softly. "That's...really pretty."

Suigetsu laughed to himself. "Go on," he whispered. "You know you want to. You know you want to...kiss the girl."

Sasuke and Karin leaned in closely and were just about to kiss when the rowboat suddenly tipped and threw the two of them into the water. Suigetsu cursed loudly at his failure and watched as Sasuke tried to help Karin out of the water, seething.

"Nice job, Naruto, Lee," Sakura rewarded. "That was way too close. At this rate, he'll kiss her before the sun sets tomorrow! I've got to take matters into my own hands!"

The next morning, Kabuto squealed in delight as he flew into Karin's room. "THERE'S GOING TO BE A WEDDING!!" he shouted. Karin woke up with a start and stared at the bird, cocking her head confusedly. "Don't you know?" Kabuto asked. "It's all over the kingdom. The prince has announced that he's getting married!"

Karin's eyes burst open in joy, and she quickly grabbed her glasses, fixed her hair, and ran down the stairs to the main hall, where she heard Sasuke talking. She was about to run to the prince when she saw his arms wrapped around another girl, a rather beautiful girl.

"I can't believe it," Orochimaru gasped. "So this fantasy girl of yours actually exists, Sasuke."

"We wish to be married as soon as possible," the prince demanded. "This afternoon!"

Karin's face dropped. She buried her face in her hands and ran back to her room, tears streaming down her pink cheeks.

What she didn't see was the stony look in Sasuke's eyes and the shell necklace around the girl's neck.

That evening, Karin watched sadly as the wedding ship departed from the dock. She slumped down and began to cry. She had been so close. She was sure that Sasuke had fallen for her. He had even tried to kiss her! He had told her that she was beautiful and said so many nice things to her. She really thought she had won his love.

Juugo, who floated in the water next to the dock, was also depressed. "I'm so sorry, Karin," he murmured. "I know how much you love him."

Suigetsu sighed as he cuddled up next to Karin. "I guess that's that..."

Kabuto flew through the sky and saw the wedding ship going out to sea. He smiled to himself, but the expression disappeared when he heard singing coming from below deck. "That sounds like Karin's voice!" he gasped, flying over to a nearby window. He gasped when he saw Sasuke's bride-to-be dancing across the floor.

"Ah," she laughed, "it's all going according to plan. Soon, I'll have that little mermaid, and Prince Sasuke will be mine!" She pulled her mirror up and cackled evilly.

Kabuto could barely believe his eyes. "Oh, my gosh!" he cried, flying quickly towards the port. He flapped his wings about crazily and caught Karin's attention. "Karin!" he gasped. "You have to stop the wedding! That's no random girl there! That's Sakura!"

Karin's eyes suddenly narrowed angrily, and she dove into the water, swimming out towards the ship. Juugo, whose fins were faster than the girl's feet, told the redhead to grab onto him. He quickly swam out towards the ship. "I'll get you there, Karin!" he reassured. "Don't worry!"

"I'll go tell King Kimimaro!" Suigetsu shouted, jumping into the water. "Kabuto, do whatever it takes to stall that wedding!"

Kabuto nodded and called out to the other seagulls, who replied quickly and flew out behind him. They just made it to the ship as Sakura was walking down the aisle. Manda hissed at the phony girl, who paid the snake no mind. Just as the vows began, Kabuto and the other seagulls attacked Sakura, completely ruining the wedding. Kabuto managed to snap the rope around her neck, and the shell crashed to the floor, breaking into a million pieces.

Karin just made it to the ship and climbed on board when a soft glow appeared from the shell. It flew towards the girl and entered her throat, beautiful music coming out.

Sasuke blinked and looked up. The spell was broken. "Karin?" he asked, clueless.

"Sasuke!" the redhead cried, running over to the prince.

Sasuke gasped. "You can talk!"

"Sasuke, I wanted to tell you, but...!"

The two of them leaned in for a kiss but Karin suddenly fell to the floor. The sun had set; she was a mermaid again.

"YES!!" Sakura screamed, shedding her disguise and revealing her long tentacles. "SHE BELONGS TO ME!!" She made her way over to the mermaid, grabbed her, and dove into the water.

"STOP, SAKURA!!" Kimimaro shouted, pointing his trident at the sea witch. "Let my daughter go this instant!"


"Sorry," Sakura sighed, "there's nothing I can do. She signed a contract!" The paper appeared in her hands. "She couldn't keep up her end of the bargain, so she belongs to me now! The contract can't be broken. However," She grinned wickedly. "it can be changed. I've always considered myself a girl with an eye for a bargain. Maybe you'd like to...trade?"

Kimimaro squinted his eyes shut and pointed his trident at the paper. After a short burst, his name appeared, replacing his daughter's. Suddenly, a black magic surrounded him, and he transformed into a pathetic, sickly-looking creature. Karin gasped. "No...PAPA KIMI-CHAN!!" she screamed, punching Sakura in the face. The witch grabbed the trident from the former king and forced the mermaid back against a rock. She was just about to attack when she felt something sharp cut her arm. She howled in pain and looked up to see Sasuke in the water, a spear just thrown. He quickly turned and made his way towards the surface when Naruto and Lee caught him, restraining him. Sakura was so distracted with killing him that she didn't notice Karin get away, and the girl tilted the aim of the trident at the last moment so the blast hit the eels instead of the man.

"NO!!" Sakura screamed, glaring at the mermaid. Karin ignored her and focused on getting Sasuke to the surface so he could get some air. Sakura stabbed the trident into the ocean floor, and a black ink began to wrap around her. "The sea and all its spoils...BOW TO MY POWER!!"

Karin grabbed onto Sasuke at the surface and tried to hang on when they both felt the earth rumbling beneath them. Sakura emerged from the water as a giant monster, wielding the trident and causing a huge storm to break out. She spun the water about her to create a whirlpool that Karin fell to the bottom of. The little mermaid gasped as the witch began shooting, attempting to kill her.

What she didn't see was Sasuke take control of a nearby ship. Even though it was also caught in the whirlpool, the ship held up rather well, and Sasuke took advantage of the long, sharp, broken pole at the front of it. He aimed carefully and drove the ship right into the sea witch. Sakura cursed and screamed in pain at the pole, but at that exact moment, lightning struck her. She fell backwards into the water and disappeared. The trident fell into the water as well, and as soon as Kimimaro touched it, he regained his proper form. All of the creatures from Sakura's lair turned back into mer-people and swam happily to their homes. They were all free!

The next morning, Kimimaro swam to the surface and saw his daughter sitting on a nearby rock. She was staring at Sasuke, who had passed out on the shore. She had a longing look in her sad eyes.

Kimimaro frowned. "She really does love him, doesn't she, Suigetsu?"

The crab nodded. "Yes, Your Majesty." He paused. "You know, they say that children should follow their hearts and grow up their own way. They were meant to surpass their parents anyway."

The king nodded quietly. "Then I guess that there's only one problem left."


Kimimaro rubbed the tears away. "How much I'm going to miss her...my only daughter..." With that, he dipped his trident into the water, and a shining beam made its way over to Karin. The mermaid looked down and saw the transformation that was taking place. She gasped and looked at her father, happy tears in her eyes. Kimimaro smiled sadly. He knew that his daughter would live a happy life on land.

Just as Sasuke awoke, Karin walked up to him on the beach. He opened his eyes and gasped, a huge smile forming on his face. Karin's arms were open, and the young prince grabbed the girl and held her close. Each stared into the other's eyes lovingly and kissed.

Not long afterwards, a real wedding was held. Sasuke and Karin confirmed their vows and sealed them with a kiss. The audience erupted in a fury of applause, and Manda affectionately wrapped himself around Karin's feet. The girl giggled and waved to everyone. Anko cried so hard she fell onto Orochimaru's shoulder.

Suigetsu cheered for the happy couple from atop the wedding cake, but Sai saw him. The chef grabbed his knife and chased the little crab across the deck, but Suigetsu was faster. He cut one of the ropes and sent a giant log in Sai's direction. The man ran right into it, and Suigetsu jumped into the water to celebrate his victory with Juugo and Kabuto.

Kimimaro commanded the water to bring him up to the ship. He embraced his daughter one last time, and the redhead squeezed back. "I love you, Papa Kimi-chan," she whispered into his ear. Slowly, her father broke away and brought himself back into the water.

The six other mermaids from the choir began singing. "Now we can walk, now we can run, now we can stay all day in the sun...just you and me...and I can be...part of your world!"

Sasuke and Karin kissed.

And they all lived happily ever after.


Next: Hinata as Sally